Friday News: Pocketful of excuses


PITTENGER COMPLAINED OF "BALLOT STUFFING," WOODHOUSE IGNORED HIM: The executive director of North Carolina’s Republican Party on Thursday defended GOP candidate Mark Harris as an “innocent victim” and downplayed a report that incumbent Republican Rep. Robert Pittenger’s campaign alerted the party to voting irregularities in Harris’ primary upset in May. Pittenger recognized something right away as results came in on Election Night, mentioning a “ballot stuffer,” according to one person in the room that night. The Washington Post reported Thursday that several Pittenger aides contacted NCGOP Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse and someone from the National Republican Congressional Committee. ‘It’s likely that they said something. What could we have done?” Woodhouse told The News & Observer. “It’s not an excuse, but the reality is we hear from a lot of people during primary election campaigns. But we can’t take a role in them.”

RUSSIAN MAFIA(?) COUPLE ARRESTED IN SWANKY RALEIGH NEIGHBORHOOD: During a federal court appearance Thursday afternoon, Leonid Teyf was charged with money laundering, conspiracy in a series of money laundering, aiding and abetting in money laundering, bribery of a public official, murder for hire and possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number. Tatyana Teyf was charged with money laundering, conspiracy in a series of money laundering and aiding and abetting in money laundering. In February 2018, Leonid Teyf told a confidential source that he believed his wife had been involved in a romantic relationship with the housekeeper's son. Teyf told the informant that he wanted to pay someone to get the son to talk and then have the son overdose on drugs. Teyf then said he wanted the son deported because, if he was back in Russia, “he would be buried already.” Teyf went on to tell the informant that he wanted the son "kidnapped, taken into the woods, forced to admit to having sex with Tatyana Teyf on video then to be killed," the affidavit states.

REPUBLICANS SEND VOTER ID BILL TO GOVERNOR COOPER: A bill requiring North Carolina voters show photo identification before casting ballots at the polls beginning next year won final approval in the state Senate. The voter ID bill that now goes to Gov. Roy Cooper for his signature was approved as scrutiny of possible election fraud in the 9th Congressional District intensifies. The investigation is focused on mishandling of absentee ballots. Senate Democrats on Thursday failed to delay a vote until an election fraud investigation is complete. The legislature’s bill deals mostly with voters showing IDs at the polls. “We cannot claim to be addressing the real issue of voter fraud,” said Sen. Terry Van Duyn, an Asheville Democrat. Cooper said last week there was no need for photo ID, and called it “wrong for our state.” He did not say whether he would veto legislation.

TRUMP PICKS FORMER FOX NEWS "REPORTER" HEATHER NAUERT FOR UN AMBASSADOR: Trump has previously said Nauert was under serious consideration to replace Nikki Haley, who announced in October that she would step down at the end of this year. If Nauert is confirmed by the Senate, she would be a leading administration voice on Trump’s foreign policy. Trump told reporters last month that Nauert was “excellent,” adding, “She’s been a supporter for a long time.” She was a reporter for Fox News Channel before she became State Department spokeswoman under former secretary Rex Tillerson. Plucked from Fox by the White House to serve as State Department spokeswoman, Nauert catapulted into the upper echelons of the agency’s hierarchy when Tillerson was fired in March. Nauert was then appointed acting undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs and was for a time the highest-ranking woman and fourth highest-ranking official in the building.

TRUMP'S UNDOCUMENTED HOUSEKEEPER IS JUST ONE OF MANY THE PRESIDENT EMPLOYS: Ms. Morales’s journey from cultivating corn in rural Guatemala to fluffing pillows at an exclusive golf resort took her from the southwest border, where she said she crossed illegally in 1999, to the horse country of New Jersey, where she was hired at the Trump property in 2013 with documents she said were phony. She said she was not the only worker at the club who was in the country illegally. During the presidential campaign, when the Trump International Hotel opened for business in Washington, Mr. Trump boasted that he had used an electronic verification system, E-Verify, to ensure that only those legally entitled to work were hired. “We didn’t have one illegal immigrant on the job,” Mr. Trump said then. But throughout his campaign and his administration, Ms. Morales, 45, has been reporting for work at Mr. Trump’s golf course in Bedminster, where she is still on the payroll. An employee of the golf course drives her and a group of others to work every day, she says, because it is known that they cannot legally obtain driver’s licenses.



The party of hypocrisy

Not a day goes by where we don't see blatant evidence of deception and demagoguery from the GOP, on both the national and the state level. But half our population keeps voting for these jackasses. I may be naive, but I just don't get it. It's hard to fathom.

I mean, before Trump, it was bad enough so many people supported Republicans. But he is just a constant train-wreck, spouting obvious lies and self-aggrandizing nonsense on a daily basis. Frankly, anybody who still supports him after two years of this has zero credibility. My patience has been used up, that reservoir of understanding is empty. All I have left is contempt.